WATCH: Piquionne scores four in USOC
The Portland Timbers were on a roll going into May as they were unbeaten in six games and continuously improving their game.
Talk of the MLS playoffs may have arrived early, but it was merited considering Caleb Porter’s men stretched their unbeaten streak into double figures and advanced in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
- INFOGRAPHIC: The Portland Timbers 2013 season
Here’s how the third month of the season unfolded:
A hard-fought game with New England Revolution ended scoreless at the start of the month and then FC Dallas fought back with a late penalty to tie 1-1 in the next game. But the Timbers revved their engines and blazed past Chivas USA before meeting a spirited Vancouver Whitecaps at BC Place, where a 2-2 draw was a fair result. Then it was business as usual as the Timbers overcame D.C. United and then showed little mercy to Wilmington Hammerheads in the U.S. Open Cup.
GOAL: Valencia's late strike vs. VAN
5/2 – Portland Timbers 0-0 New England Revolution
5/8 – FC Dallas 1-1 Portland Timbers
5/12 – Portland Timbers 3-0 Chivas USA
5/18 – Vancouver Whitecaps 2-2 Portland Timbers
5/25 – D.C. United 0-2 Portland Timbers
5/29 – Portland Timbers 5-1 Wilmington Hammerheads (U.S. Open Cup)
With six minutes of regular time left and the Timbers down a man following Futty Danso’s dismissal, the three points and Cascadia bragging rights looked to be Vancouver’s. But substitute Jose Valencia did not like that script, so he added a new paragraph by controlling a high ball, spinning past his marker and firing into the net to secure a huge point on the road.
GOAL: Wallace sprints to goal vs. CHV
Even though Frederic Piquionne scored four goals in one game and Donovan Ricketts recorded three clean sheets, Wallace still stood out. Since joining the Timbers, he had been used in various positions, but Porter began to get the best out of him from a wide left role. He finished the month with two goals and two assists and was well on his way to producing a career year in 2013.
Where it left the Timbers?
Now riding high in the Western Conference, the Timbers boasted one of the best defensive records in the league and were not shy when it came to scoring goals either. Coupled with their 11-game unbeaten run was passage through to the next round in the U.S. Open Cup – a competition that head coach Porter stated that he wanted the team to perform well in and target to win.
They Said It:
Caleb Porter following the Timbers’ draw with Vancouver on May 18:
“This team continues to do things that impress me. We’ve gone ten games without a loss and throughout those ten games we’ve faced adversity and in some games have had to come from behind one or two goals, and this is just another example of what this team is made of.”